As we posted yesterday, Van Halen is going to be touring in 2012, with tickets going on sale Jan. 10. The mysterious announcement didn't say when and where they'll be touring, but this is just the latest in a string of odd behavior from Van Halen since they fired Sammy Hagar (the first time) back in 1996.
Though there are many, here's a top five list of the odd (and sometimes irrational) behavior the legendary band has exhibited over the past 15 years.
Honorable Mention: The ill-fated 2004 'Reunion' with Hagar:
If you've read Hagar's well-received autobiography, you know that this tour started off with the best of intentions but ended up, like most things the band has done in the past decade and a half, in shambles. As has been documented, Eddie Van Halen's drinking was out of control and the band's ill-received and lackluster performances spelled the end of Hagar's relationship with the brothers Van Halen.
5. Auditioning Mitch Malloy to replace Hagar: Who? Exactly. Unless you are a diehard music or Van Halen fan, you'd be shocked to know that there was a singer in between Hagar on the next person on this list.
4. Hiring and releasing an album with Gary Cherone:
There was nothing wrong with the band soldiering on with a new singer after Hagar was canned. However, the former Extreme frontman sounded out of place on Van Halen III. Oh, and the album was terrible. Thankfully that error–er, era–last only three years before Cherone was gracefully shown the door.
3. Eddie Van Halen scoring porn films: What do you if you haven't toured in a few years, have an impending divorce and need money? If you guessed scoring porn films, then you know what Eddie did in 2006. The guitar virtuoso worked with Michael Ninn, who he called in a Spin interview “a Spielberg to me: the imagery, the way he makes things look, just…sensual.” Yeesh, if you say so.
2. Hiring your talented musician son to play bass and sing backing vocals while he should be in school: This isn't a knock on Wolfgang Van Halen, who is an excellent musician. His bass grooves are tight and his backing vocals are solid. However, the brothers shouldn't have fired longtime bassist Michael Anthony (without telling him beforehand, as Eddie said on the Howard Stern Show?) after the 2004 reunion. (Eddie reportedly wanted him out long before that, except Hagar fought for his inclusion with the threat of tour cancellation). His backing vocals helped create the magic that was the Van Halen sound. And yes, Wolfie has been good, but he should have been able to enjoy his teen years in high school with his friends instead of being forced into a major rock band at such a young age. But hey, I'm not his parent, so who am I to say?
1. The disastrous David Lee Roth MTV Video Music Award Reunion:
In 1996, when Hagar was first out of the picture, there were rumblings of a reunion with the original band. Those rumors reached a fever pitch when it was announced that Roth was recording two new songs for a Best Of compilation to be released later that year. At that year's MTV Video Music Awards, Roth and the rest of the band presented the award for Best Male Performance and were met by a standing ovation, with everyone in attendance assuming that the band was back together. Not quite. Depending on whom you ask, Roth was either never officially in Van Halen again or it was a publicity stunt by the band and their manager. Either way, they parties kissed and made up in 2007.